Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire
So here we are, finally in the Solomon Sea, sat here on deck at sunset as the great ball of fire disappears over the horizon. Life could be worse, it almost feels like we’re on holiday! We entered the Doldrums Corridor last night and were greeted this morning to the sight of Rossel Island to our left, the latest in an illustrious list of lumps of rock we’ve sailed past without so much as a hello. AQP Ryan, sorry Rhiannon, and I agree that MT Fogo in the Cape Verde Islands was definitely the most impressive rock to date, soaring up over the clouds, although Rhi is still complaining that we weren’t able to do a sail past of inaccessible island in the Tristan da Cunha group.
Now we’re in the corridor we’re using our 36 hour motoring period to try and get through the worst of the doldrums. On Leg 1, this meant days of maintenance as we recovered from Tropical Storm Lorenzo, however, in the rather gentler Leg 5, we were spending time listening to music (Johnny Cash is on at the moment), with the occasional crew member acting as backing singer or supporting dancer. Kerry and Emma gave us an excellent rendition of a few hits at lunchtime – be warned, the “Doldrums Sisters” were caught on camera, watch the video at your peril!
Certainly, this all makes a nice change from the last few days, which have been dominated by the sun and avoiding it. We thought Leg 1 was hot, how wrong we were! We all thought we were oh so clever bringing on our own personal fans to keep us cool while we slept, however, in the day watches all they do is blow hot air over us like we’re in a fan oven. More often than not half of the off watch end up on deck trying to find somewhere with both shade and breeze, and we’re all glad to see the back of the sun at the end of every day. Night watches are both the best time to sleep and the most pleasant time to be on deck sailing, so you’re never quite sure if you want to be on the double night shift or not!
Those of you following Unicef’s blogs on the last leg might know that my Dad dropped me in it with one of his blogs, so in the spirit of reciprocity, I can happily confirm that Dad was denied entry to “Paddy’s Shenanigans” (possibly the world’s most embarrassingly named Irish bar) in Airlie Beach at about 1 am last Saturday. Please feel free to ask him for full details once he’s back on land in Sanya!
That’s enough from me, now I need to come up with a reduced watch list for tonight, as we’re motoring we can minimise the number of people on deck and hopefully, everyone can get some sleep before we start racing again in the early hours of the 28th!